I first saw this property several years ago when I met a friend at the restaurant that is now Momma Mia’s. Since that was my first visit to Trappe, I took a walk down Maple Ave. before heading home. As I approached this property, a towering magnolia set slightly back from the equally majestic hollys on each side provided privacy for the side yard facing the street. Through the trees I then saw this exquisite three-story white confection of “layers” with windows placed symmetrically on each floor of the five bay, three-story house. Above the heavily articulated cornice with dentils, other moldings and the flared eaves is the mansard roof of light gray slate with alternating bands of scalloped and square shingles. The white brick walls are accented by the light gray granite window sills below the 4/4 long windows and the dark green shutters.
The gravel drive to the house circles around the front elevation and then parallels the side elevation where a porte-cochere extends toward the drive from the wrap-around porch with its copper roof that has weathered to a wonderful patina. The semicircular dark red brick sidewalk in a herringbone pattern under the porte-cochere connects to the driveway at both ends. On the day of my visit, I walked around the lawn areas bordered by mature landscaping, a tennis court and a pool with landscaping along the rear to camouflage the agricultural outbuildings beyond the fence.
Brick piers between mature shrubbery of privet topiary and white azaleas beginning to bloom flank the brick steps up to the porch flooring of mahogany. The entry door has double screen doors with a detail that reminded me of a halved pomegranate, the symbol of life. The front door opens into the foyer of a center hall plan. On one side of the foyer are double parlors defined by back to back fireplaces and semicircular transoms above the doors between the rooms. The long windows are well proportioned to the high ceilings and the Victorian furnishings evoke the late 19th century when the house was built. On the other side of the center hall is another sitting room and the dining room. I especially liked the dining room furnishings of warm wood antiques, including a floor to ceiling hutch with glass fronted upper doors to display china and crystal, the subtle patterned wallpaper and the period pendant light. I could easily imagine enjoying being a dinner guest in the winter by the warmth of the fire. The sitting room windows overlook a cozy “conservatory” full of plants that clearly thrive in their sunny environment of long wrap-around south facing windows with views to the landscaping.
The eat-in kitchen is located in an “L” addition and its interior design has a vintage look. The raised fireplace can be seen from the table and chairs in the middle of the room opposite a wide picture window overlooking the side yard corner. Off this room is a spacious mudroom/laundry that made my stack W/D in an alcove seem woefully inadequate and I envied the beautiful linen press for storage of linens.
The exquisite curved stair spirals upwards to the second and third floor under the mansard roof. The 19th century carpenter who crafted this design of wood treads, white risers and balusters and the wood stained cap with its sinuous flow was truly a master craftsman. The spacious bedrooms on the second floor and fireplaces are filled with sunlight from windows on two exterior walls and the sleeping porch at the rear of the house would be a great spot for summer slumber. In most houses, my favorite floor is the one defined by any gambrel or mansard shaped roof that creates imaginative interior architecture. This house’s third floor has several bedrooms, baths, and a sitting room with a fireplace. One charming bedroom has deep red twin beds at right angles to each other, infilled with a corner nightstand and storage drawers below each bed. The dormer windows with their sloped sides give bird’s eye views of Trappe’s pastoral and Town views.
If you are a historic architecture buff, this solidly built house surrounded by mature landscaping over three acres creates a peaceful setting just a block away from the main intersection of Trappe’s shopping and restaurant area. High ceilings, transom windows over interior doors, heart pine floors, moldings, nine (!) fireplaces and the magnificent three-story staircase are design elements not often found in new construction. The tennis court and pool await restoration for warm weather exercise. If that’s not enough, the property also includes an 800 sf guest house for income potential.
For more information about this property, contact Brett Schrader with Taylor Properties at 800-913-4326 (o), 410-490-6075 (c) or email@example.com. For more photographs and pricing, visit www.easternshoremdrealestate.com “Equal Housing Opportunity”.
Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.
Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.